Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pumpkin and Pandan Xi Pan (南瓜和班兰喜粄)

I am sure many Singaporeans like me are not very familiar with this kueh call Xi Pan (喜粄). When I saw this Hakka Xi Ban (客家喜粄) both in Reese and Wendy's blog, I was totally intrigued. I have never tasted it before since its not so common here in Singapore. And since it is the kueh theme this month, I figured why not make some to try it out. And since I couldn't decide which recipe to go for, I adapted both Reese and Wendy's recipe, but with the same starter dough. Not wanting to make it plain, I added pumpkin and pandan to enhance the flavoring.

Since I like my kueh with more flavorings, I fill them with roasted ground peanut and sweetened coconut filling. And I am glad I did, since the Xi Pan itself is only slightly sweetened, so with the filling is definitely a nice compliment.

Ingredients for Pumpkin and Pandan Xi Pan (南瓜和班兰喜粄)
Starter Dough:
180g cake flour
150ml water
1 tsp instant active yeast
Mix all the ingredients together and let it proof for 6 to 9 hours. I placed mine in an air tight container in a fridge overnight.

Main Dough for Pumpkin Xi Pan: (makes about 6)
120g pumpkin, peeled, steamed and mashed
70g glutinous rice flour
30g cake flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
50g caster sugar
2 tbsp cooking oil

Peanut filling:
150g roasted ground peanuts
30g confectioner's sugar
2 tbsp cooking oil to bind
Combine everything together and set aside for use later.

  • Combined starter dough with sugar and baking powder and mix well.
  • Add in the remaining ingredients and knead till dough is smooth. Brush some oil on the surface and let proof for 3 hours, covered.
  • In the meantime, cut out some banana leave square and brush them with a little cooking oil.
  • Once proofed, punch out the air and divide dough into 50g portions. Roll them flat and place a teaspoon full of the peanut filling. Wrap and seal tightly. Roll round and press gently down on to the prepared banana leave so it is like a flat disc. Repeat till all the dough is used.
  • Let the shaped Xi Pan rest for another 20 minutes before steaming.
  • Steam them for 10 minutes at medium low heat, remove and let cool before serving.
Main Dough for Pandan Xi Pan: (makes about 6)
50g cake flour

75g glutinous rice flour
62ml water blend with 5 strips of pandan leaves, strain and reserve only the liquid
60g caster sugar

Coconut Filling:
1 tbsp brown sugar
75g gula melaka, chopped small
1 tbsp water and 1 knotted pandan leave
150g grated coconut
1 tbsp sago soaked in 2 tbsp hot water for 10 minutes

In a heat proof sauce pan, add brown sugar, gula melaka, water and pandan leave and gently boil till the mixture thickens. Add grated coconut and stir till the coconut soaks up all of the sweet syrup. Add in the sago and water and stir till mixture is thick and no visible liquid. Let cool before use.

  • The steps will be exactly the same as the pumpkin version. But instead of adding peanut filling, add coconut filling instead.
Not sure why, but my pandan Xi Pan turned out better then the pumpkin ones. One batch of my pumpkin ones kind of "deflated" a little after steaming....suspect its the steaming water dripped over it or something. :P Only a couple of them were decent enough for pictures. :P
As you can see from the picture, once the pumpkin kueh's been cut using a knife, it shows how gummy the texture is. But if torn like the pandan one, it still shows a little of the fluff texture. Personally not too fond of the gummy texture....much prefer the bao more then this. ;P
Part of the reason why I made this was to bring some for my mum, since she loves kueh, especially coconut filling ones. :)) She told me she hadn't seen and tasted Xi Pan before....guess it is really uncommon around here. :P Good thing she said it's pretty good...*phew*...or perhaps she just being nice, lol! Either way, I'm glad I give it a try, else I might not know how a Xi Pan taste like. ;)

Have a great coming weekend! Cheers All!


Passionate About Baking said...

I've seen other bloggers making this too! I've not tried this too! I'm more swaku than you. Heehee... Not as good bao? :p

Edith said...

Clever of you to put fillings as the bun itself is rather bland.

ReeseKitchen said...

Oh pandan ones sounds nice too...I may try it out! Oh about the "deflated" texture...its like that Bee Bee, usually those selling here are all flat than puffy. This kuih is very very common since I was a kid....they are all selling in those wet markets and pasar malam in seremban and PJ. Hmm...maybe you can go have a look when you come visit..:)

WendyinKK said...

Hmmm.. is it because there aren't much Hakkas in Singapore?
Did you reduce the water in your pumpkin xiban?
Yeah, it's bland, but I'm ok with it.
I think it's sort of confusing.. seeing fluffy, but when you bite into it, it's gummy. right? Plays with the mind. Then why make it fluffy in the first place if it actually taste like kuih.

鲸鱼蓝蓝蓝 said...


Unknown said...

Ya hor, if you didn't say I also didn't notice it's hard to find xi pan here in Singapore +_+

lena said...

oh, i love hee pan. It's quite common here, normally comes in pink and pandan flavour and without fillings! Nice to add in some fillings, i'm sure you got that texture right! can see that fluffy like pau and i like them a little chewy too!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Jane, no swaku la, I also never tasted it before until I made it myself, lol! Yeah, it's like kueh texture gummy gummy, so if you like boa fIuffy texture, but you have to try to see if you like it. :D

Yeah Edith, I think with filling is better. ;)

Reese: actually the pandan flavor is pretty nice, you should try. :) sure sure! I miss those pasar malam too!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Wendy, I'm not sure le. There are definitely Hakkas here, but probably this kueh didn't get popularized I guess. :P yes, indeed quite deceiving, lol! Fully look but gummy texture, but okay la, not bad. :D

鲸鱼蓝蓝蓝, of course can! Quick come!

爱丝特, you tasted it before? It's not hard to find, it's cannot find, lol!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Thanks Lena! Glad that you justified that it's similar those sold, heehee! :)

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

earlier i thought this kuih is Hokkien kuih but later only found out is Hakka kuih. I like to eat this when i was a kid, and now my kids also like this too..Yours with filling sound even better.

My Little Space said...

Most of the ppl callling this as Hi Ban but my hakka MIL calling it "Chat Ban". Funny huh! Accordng to her, the original Hi Ban is supposed to be thin & chewy. But yet the fluffy version tastes as good though. There's one food stall in Setapak Jaya (KL) street market selling the thin version of Hi Ban everyday. I like it a lot.
Thanks for sharing. Have a great week ahead.